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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Treason - the crime that dares not speak its name

There has been some talk in the news recently over here about whether we in the UK should use treason laws to deal with various people who preach war against this country while living in it. I don't know when the last person in the UK was prosecuted for treason, though the last execution was Lord Haw-Haw in the aftermath of WW2. Undoubtedly treason is strong language, and I read in a BBC article that I cannot now find that a Lib Dem peer was opposed. To be fair, it is highly unlikely the government will go down this route at all, now or in the future, but I wonder why not? Might it be because of the very nature of the discussion treason forces us to consider real matters that all too many people want to sweep under the carpet: that there are in this country individuals and groups who seek to destroy us. Some of these people hold British citizenship, some do not, all are subject to this country's laws.

Just as we should not be afraid to label despots like Saddam Hussein as evil we should not be afraid to call treason by its name. If this requires ditching or amending the Human Rights Act, so much the better. It was one example of the sometimes extra-ordinary incompetence that this government occasionally displays, and it continues to indict them. We do not need new-fangled laws, we have a simple enough law. One does not give aid to the enemy, support him, plot with him, or conduct all the various activities some preachers and Muslims (and others) have done.

I am also convinced they should be hauled up and taken off to Tyburn to dance a particular jig. Hell, we could even sell the rights to Al-Jazeera to cover expenses, since that station seems fond of televising executions.

It won't happen of course, and although 'almost' convinced ultimately I am not. No need to create a martyr and, somewhat reluctantly, I follow the teachings of the Magisterium. A treason charge though would do nicely.

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